Gabby Douglas, 21-year old Olympian and Gold medalist, has always had a soft spot in Black America’s heart. She’s young, gifted, (Black), and poppin’ so that’s pretty much all we needed to get on board. Throughout her career she has faced a lot of criticism particularly about the way she looks. Her hair has been a topic of discussion on many occasions, especially on social media. Many white Twitter users attacked Gabby during the Olympics when she didn’t put her hand over her heart during the National Anthem. But in typical Black people fashion, we rushed to her defense, most of us banding together to build a protective shield around her. We were rooting for her, and hoping she’d ultimately kick ass at the Olympics, which she did.
Gil Scott Heron’s famous poem/song, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, ends with the poignant verse, ‘the revolution would be live.’ Written in 1970, Heron could not have known that amateur cell phone footage captured by regular people would explode virally on social media creating a digital revolution and inspiring The Black Lives Matter Movement.
In the face of the tragedy that is Hurricane Harvey, there has been a lot of finger-pointing, critique, and confusion. The category 4 storm, set to last 5 days, has killed 18 people, and ruined 300,000 homes thus far. So with all that’s going on, it begs the question-why is mega church pastor Joel Osteen the trending topic on Twitter?
Last week, comedian Lil Duval appeared as a guest on the “World’s Most Dangerous Morning Show,” the Breakfast Club. The discussion turned to the transgender community, as one of the guests that week had been transgender activist, author, and host Janet Mock. While on, the crew asked Duval what he would do in the instance that he’d slept with a trans person, without prior knowledge of the person’s gender assignment at birth. Duval responded by saying that he’d “probably kill them.” Of course…that didn’t go well. There isn’t a PR person on this planet that could make what he said sound good, and honestly, they shouldn’t even try. Immediately after that comment, all members of the Breakfast Club informed Duval that murdering a trans person is a hate crime. However, that didn’t stop people from boycotting Charlamagne, and boycotting The Breakfast Club into this week. But now, I have questions.
Every now and again, a celebrity makes the mistake of actually sharing their thoughts on social media. I don’t call it a “mistake” because I think celebrities shouldn’t share their opinions, I call it a “mistake” because it turns out that a lot of the things they have to say are, well…stupid. I don’t know if these guys are sniffing too much coke up there in Hollywood, or what-but it’s clear that an intervention needs to be had.
In 2015, Equal Justice Initiative received a $1 million grant from Google.org to help fund the From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration Museum, as well as its Memorial to Peace and Justice. After the grant was made, EJI, led by Bryan Stevenson and Google.org looked for further ways to work together. EJI’s recently published report, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror (in the form of an 80-page publication), seemed like an opportunity to leverage Google’s expertise — organizing information and making it more universally accessible — in the name of amplifying Equal Justice Initiative’s message. Coinciding with the launch of this project tpday, Google.org will donate another $1 million to EJI to support its racial justice work.
Cardi B is an icon. There, I said it. Her ascent to fame has stirred much debate, particularly over the last year. A diamond in the rough placed under extreme pressure in the Bronx, Cardi B has always been about her SHMONEY, and who can blame her? A product of humble beginnings, she admits she was often at odds with her parents, meaning she had to find a way, or make one-and boy, did she ever.
There are white people who’ve gotten invites to our cookouts over the years. White people we consider non-threatening and “down” for the cause. These are white people who despite having white skin, relate more to Black people and Black culture than their peers. We gladly take them in, no questions asked. Teena Marie, Bill Clinton, Eminem, and Bill Maher to name a few. But sometimes, a white person will come along and get way too comfortable. They’ll show up empty handed, they’ll renege in the Spades tournament, and they’ll start taking to-go plates without saying “goodbye” to anybody, or helping to clean up. Unfortunately, at that point, their cookout pass has to be revoked. (See Rachel Dolezal)
In the year 2017, Donald Trump, (who will be referred to as Tangerine Toddler from this point on) became our President. And while those of us who were sane mourned the fact that he’d be our “leader” for the next four years, others of us were having meet and greets and taking pictures with him like he was our play cousin. To take it a step further, some of us even agreed to perform at his inaugaration. *enters Chrisette Michelle*
I’ve decided I want to bow out. It was fun while it lasted. However, after careful review, I’ve concluded that The Woke Olympics just isn’t for me. I can’t compete. These carefully constructed tweets have me sweating at my desk on the regular, and baby, I’m tired. One slip of the finger, one well intentioned tweet gone bad, and just like that, the Woke community has turned their backs on you, and there you are, all alone-Un-woke.